I've already dropped the "Devil," but I've now decided to change the New Jersey portion of the name into "Lowell," mostly because this team is now comprised heavily of minor-leaguers.
Add Brian Gionta and Bryce Salvador to the long and ever-growing list of injured Devils.
Well, I guess Matt Halischuk will get another chance to crack the lineup. Say what? He's injured too? How about Rod Pelley, who played a lot last year? He's also injured? What about Gionta's brother, Stephen? HE'S OUT TOO?! So who's left?
Well, there's Jay Leach, who tried to add more insult to injury (well, actually, more injury to injury) by shooting a puck into the face of Mike Mottau*, although Mottau is a trooper, and came back.
And there's Barry Tallackson, I guess. And Patrick Davis is up, too. The depths to which this team has fallen is startling. How long until Pacal Rheaume finds his way back to the bigs?
Oh, and Kevin Weekes got a rest tonight, so Scott Clemmenson got the start, giving the Devils and even more amateurish look. And the squad could barely muster any offense, despite throwing 38 shots at a goalie making only his second NHL start. The one bright spot was Zach Parise's eleventh goal, the only one the Devils scored in the game. It's been a great season for Parise, who is among the league leaders in scoring.
The Devils didn't even get to look at Dwayne Roloson, who might be playing in Lowell- I mean, New Jersey- before season's end. Part of a three-tender rotation in Edmonton, Roloson is a decent player who may soon enough find himself sharing time with the Weekesmeister. But the truth is, goaltending isn't this team's problem. Weekes and Clemmenson have been good enough since Brodeur went down, and while they probably won't shine every night, they've put this team in position to win. There hasn't been much scoring, and while Brian Rolston's eventual return should help, this team is in trouble. There's no more Marty to win 1-0 games. It's time to start scoring three goals a night, and outside of Parise, no one is doing that.
*Correction: it was Mike Rupp who deflected the puck at Mottau.